Thursday 5 December 2019

Offaly recover from poor start to ease past London

Offaly 0-17 London 1-7

Niall McNamee of Offaly in action against London's from left, James Moran, Ciarán Dunne and Adrian Moyles
Niall McNamee of Offaly in action against London's from left, James Moran, Ciarán Dunne and Adrian Moyles

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Offaly weathered an early London storm to register a workmanlike victory over London at O’Connor Park.

The hosts scored 13 consecutive points and kept the Exiles scoreless for 40 minutes to secure their spot in round 2B of the qualifiers.

Pat Flanagan would have endured some anxious moments, particularly in the opening half as he watched his side record three early wides, although two Niall McNamee points gave them the lead.

London had a strong wind in their favour though and they responded with a goal and three points to go five ahead.

Patrick O’Hara fisted the goal and Adrian Moyles, Liam Gavaghan and O’Hara again stretched the visitors clear.

Offaly responded to the threat though kicking five points in a row and eight more in the second half to put the game to bed.

Anton Sullivan of Offaly shoots under pressure from London defenders during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1B game between Offaly and London
Anton Sullivan of Offaly shoots under pressure from London defenders during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1B game between Offaly and London

Dunne slotted the last two of the opening period to send the teams in level on 0-7 to 1-4.

Offaly wrested control of the central zone but were unable to get the goal that might have caused London to wilt.

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Dunne, McNamee, Brian Allen and substitute Nigel Bracken all hit the target, while Dunne kicked four in a row after that as the midlanders eight clear before London finally stopped the rot thanks to Eoin Mageean, within seconds after the Tír Chonaill Gaels man’s introduction.

Emboldened the men managed by former Wexford forward Ciaran Deely actually reduced the margin to five via a Scott Conroy free and a cracking score by Dualtach Molloy.

Offaly finished with scores from Allen and Niall Darby to calm the nerves though having undergone a severe examination.

Scorers for Offaly: N Dunne 0-7(fs); N McNamee 0-4; B Allen 0-3(2fs); N Darby, A Sullivan, N Bracken 0-1 each

Scorers for London: P O’Hara 1-2; A Moyles, L Gavaghan, S Conroy (f), D Molloy 0-1 each

OFFALY: A Mulhall, B Darby, E Rigney, S Pender, N Darby, P Cunningham, J O’Connor, E Carroll, G Guilfoyle, A Sullivan, N McNamee, M Brazil, B Allen, N Dunne, J Moloney

Subs: N Bracken for Moloney (45), J Gethings for Guilfoyle (52), W Mulhall for McNamee (58), J Lalor for B Darby (62), K Garry for A Mulhall (64), L Fox for Carroll (66)

LONDON: G McEvoy, P Butler, C Carty, C Dunne, D Ryan, C Healy, D McGreevy, J Moran, L Gavaghan, A Moyles, M Gottsche, C Coyne, S Conroy, C Óg Greene, P O’Hara.

Subs: E Murray for Moran (48), K Butler for Coyne (51), E Mageean for Greene (63), C O’Neill for Ryan (64), D Molloy for O’Hara (66)

REFEREE: D Coldrick (Meath)

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